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Old 02-04-2018, 09:37 AM   #1
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Australia Travel Advice Needed

We are booked on a 3 week New Zealand and Australia tour in January 2019 and are looking for a little advice. We want to spend a week at a beach resort near Sydney after the tour. The tour ends in Sydney on Jan 23 so being there for Australia Day on the 26th should be great too.
It would be ideal if the resort was near other "day trip" sightseeing locations as well.
Of course there are a lot of recommendations when performing a search, but what say the locals?
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Old 02-04-2018, 10:04 AM   #2
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We are booked on a 3 week New Zealand and Australia tour in January 2019 and are looking for a little advice. We want to spend a week at a beach resort near Sydney after the tour. The tour ends in Sydney on Jan 23 so being there for Australia Day on the 26th should be great too.
It would be ideal if the resort was near other "day trip" sightseeing locations as well.
Of course there are a lot of recommendations when performing a search, but what say the locals?
Congratulations, NZ and Oz are among my favorite places on the planet, so much land and sea, and so few people, what could be better? NZ's South Island has less than 1m people. I realize you didn't ask, but for others who may consider visiting, and you should, the Otago Peninsula is simply stunning, as is Fiordland and Akaroa, they are among my NZ favorites, along with the blue penguins of the Otago and in Oamaru. Too many to list for Au but Tasmania's Dove Lake and Wineglass Bay, and Springbrook Park south of Brisbain are in my top three.

Manly is just a ferry ride across Sydney harbor, it's a beach/surf town, it might fit the bill, I've visited several times and enjoy the North Head hikes; plenty of comfortable open air eateries in the town as well.

Here's the official description, "Manly, reached from the CBD by ferry across Sydney Harbour, has a relaxed holiday vibe. Sandy, tree-fringed Manly Beach is one of the city’s famed surf spots, and there are broad coastal views on the oceanfront walk to sheltered Shelly Beach. The Corso is a buzzing pedestrian strip lined with laid-back pubs and family-friendly eateries. Bush trails on North Head offer sweeping views of the harbour and city skyline"
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Old 02-04-2018, 10:04 AM   #3
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Visit the powerhouse museum for a fantastic display of operating steam engines including an original Watt engine used to make beer.

The Sydney harbor ferries are great so I suggest staying within walking distance to a terminal. take the ferries to each destination and find a nearby pub for lunch, great way to explore. The Circular Quay in Sydney is a main ferry and transit hub. Others will know more about beach hotels but unless it has changed I would only visit Bondi beach not stay there. Manly may work.

A car is unnecessary in the Sydney area as transit is good.
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Old 02-04-2018, 05:57 PM   #4
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Manly is a good idea if you want to stay in Sydney and be close to everything, but it will be busy/noisy. If you want something more relaxed but still in Sydney, try Palm Beach to the north (there arent really hotels at Palm Beach, but there will be houses for rent). If you want to stay outside Sydney and are happy to drive, Terrigal is excellent (north of Sydney, drive maybe 90 mins via Gosford).

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Old 02-04-2018, 06:20 PM   #5
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January is peak tourism time in Australia, so pre book accommodation.
A house rental on the northern beaches of Sydney, eg Palm Beach, could be well north of $5K plus, it gets very silly that time of year. Terrigal, as mentioned,has beach +hotel,and is close to better beaches, like Mc Masters, and Avoca. Avoca is way nicer and less commercial than Terrigal, maybe look for accommodation there, I doubt there is a full on resort hotel.
A good day/overnight trip would be the Blue Mountains, about 80km W of Sydney,centering on the town of Katoomba.Lots to see.
Renting a car would be useful for getting out of town to these places. Definitely book ahead. Australia Day in Sydney has lots of events(despite some people wanting it renamed "Invasion Day" and the date changed). Though January is not a time people travel for business I suspect hotels will be busy.
Lots of harbour cruise boats in Sydney, but the best trip is the slow/conventional ferries to Manly, you see lots of harbour, you cross the Heads of Sydney Harbour, and you get to see Manly.
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Old 02-05-2018, 02:16 AM   #6
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FWIW, I agree with a lot of the other posters, base yourself in Manly.It's full of backpackers, holiday makers, tourists and the occasional local. So it is not your resort style accommodation but it is fun & busy and noisy(you can have quiet at home).

Additionally, it has the great advantage of the Manly ferry. It is a half hour trip to Circular Quay(Opera house and the Bridge) and the CBD. The trip across the heads is a delight on a moonlit night, and any other time for that matter.

Suggestions to do in Manly:
*catch some waves on the lovely Manly beach
*walk from the beach around the coastal footpath for lunch at the Boathouse(15 minutes) & then take a dip at Shelly Beach a further 50 meters from the restaurant. Good snorkling just off Shelly Beach.
* Make your way up to North Head for a fabulous view down the harbour. Also a good cafe there for lunch.
* catch a bus to the Spit & do the 2.5 hour coastal/cliff walk back to Manly. One of the most scenic walks and best views of the harbour you will ever see.

City to do list by ferry:

Go to a show at the Opera House at night.A five minute walk from the ferry .Standing outside on the forecourt at interval with a glass of your favourite tipple in your hand, watching the bridge climbers and ferries, plus the occasional ocean liner is one off the bucket list IMHO

Wander through the Rocks,opposite the Opera House,part of the original European settlement where there are some wonderful old pubs and laneways.

Go to the open air Moonlight Cinema(Mrs Macquarie Chair) a wonderful night with some pretty reasonable food and cold drinks. 25 minute walk through the Botanic Gardens from the ferry.

Catch a ferry from Circular Quay to Darling Harbour (half an hour) Lots of shops , people, old boats etc. You can either walk back to Circular Quay or catch a ferry.

If you do go up to the Blue Mountains, can I suggest you treat your other half & stay overnight at lilianfels and have dinner at Darleys Restaurant (attached to the hotel) I promise you it will win you brownie points.

If you are interested I can give you the names of a few cute little bars & restaurants all in walking distance from Circular Quay.

Finally, if you go to Bondi for the day, have lunch at the Icebergs club(visitors welcome) with its stunning views of the beach and the famous salt water pool. Casual dining, reasonable prices. Then do the walk starting from the club along the cliff path which winds up and down to Coogee beach, takes about 30 minutes. Take your swimmers.Terrific walk.
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Old 02-05-2018, 03:03 AM   #7
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Don't forget Canberra ACT its just down the road
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Old 02-05-2018, 07:54 PM   #8
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Don't forget Canberra ACT its just down the road
Three hours down the road. War Museum is a must,especially the late afternoon daily ceremony. Parliament House not so much, but worth a look.
In Sydney,the Rivercat ferry to Parramatta is popular,covers the upper harbour/Parramatta river. Church St in Parramatta is said to have some decent cafes these days.Most people would take the ferry both ways,otherwise it`s the train .
Staying in a city hotel, there are many, gives best access to Sydney sights, shops etc. Be sure to visit the QVB(Queen Victoria Building) for upmarket shopping, also the Strand Arcade, between Pitt and George streets.
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Old 02-05-2018, 09:06 PM   #9
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Three hours down the road. War Museum is a must,especially the late afternoon daily ceremony. Parliament House not so much, but worth a look.
In Sydney,the Rivercat ferry to Parramatta is popular,covers the upper harbour/Parramatta river. Church St in Parramatta is said to have some decent cafes these days.Most people would take the ferry both ways,otherwise it`s the train .
Staying in a city hotel, there are many, gives best access to Sydney sights, shops etc. Be sure to visit the QVB(Queen Victoria Building) for upmarket shopping, also the Strand Arcade, between Pitt and George streets.

And if you like adventure and excitement don't forget a few hours after dark in Bankstown /Guildford for daily drive by shootings, stabbings ,hit and runs, and great traditional lamb kebabs
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Old 02-05-2018, 09:54 PM   #10
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After years of driving B Doubles in Sydney the best view is in your rear view mirrors.
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Old 02-06-2018, 04:56 PM   #11
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After years of driving B Doubles in Sydney the best view is in your rear view mirrors.
Sydney welcomes the departure of a B Double truck*, banning them would be good.
[ A "B Double" is a mini road train, large truck/trailer + 1 extra trailer].
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Old 02-06-2018, 05:00 PM   #12
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And if you like adventure and excitement don't forget a few hours after dark in Bankstown /Guildford for daily drive by shootings, stabbings ,hit and runs, and great traditional lamb kebabs
I toyed with suggesting the Immigration authorities hold an introductory lecture for some new arrivals" Dispute Resolution Without Guns and Knives" but figured it would be seen as contrary to cultural values.
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Old 02-06-2018, 05:25 PM   #13
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Sydney welcomes the departure of a B Double truck*, banning them would be good.
[ A "B Double" is a mini road train, large truck/trailer + 1 extra trailer].
That would double the number of trucks on the road though.

They are going to be running triples up the Hume from Melbourne soon everyone is going to have to learn to share the road or stop buying stuff.

If the OP is looking for some ware quieter to stay have a look at Port Stephens or Forster Tuncurry
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Old 02-07-2018, 12:39 AM   #14
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Above all else - if you hire a car - remember we drive on the correct, repeat correct, side of the road, which is not the same as the right side ok..? But we do drive from the right side of the car.
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Old 02-07-2018, 12:56 AM   #15
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Above all else - if you hire a car - remember we drive on the correct, repeat correct, side of the road, which is not the same as the right side ok..? But we do drive from the right side of the car.
I have driven overseas on the right many times with no issues(there was that one time in France..but I didn`t hit anything). Some US tourists in a rental car didn`t make it out of Canberra airport, so take care. In moments of stress "autopilot" can kick in, taking you to the wrong side.
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Old 02-07-2018, 03:17 AM   #16
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When last in Sydney I stayed at the Pullman Grand Circular Quay. Fantastic location, right in amongst it all. I had a botanic garden view suite, but would pay the extra for a Quay view suite next time. Though I couldn't complain at all, the view was very nice. Really nice hotel suite. The extras in the room were beyond any other hotel I had every stayed in and that's a very long list. Needless to say I was impressed and can recommend it. Easy walk from there to everywhere (the Rocks, Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, Botanic Gardens, the Ferries and of course the CBD. Train from the airport, which is the easiest and best way to get to town, stops at Circular Quay, then its a 5 min walk with suitcase to the hotel. Ferry to Manly is a great trip, lunch on the Manly beach front is a must. The aquarium not far from the Manly Wharf is also good value (its small but good) and has some great exhibits including Cuttlefish. Darling Harbour is nice for a visit and the Sydney Aquarium is there. Big and good. They even have a Dugong, which is an amazing creature to see up close. Lots and lots of places to eat to suit all tastes, at the Rocks and Darling Harbour. A harbour tour can be done on the ferries, sans commentary, but a stop at Cookatoo Island on the run to Parramatta is good value to learn about the early Naval Dockyard days in Sydney. Jump back on after a visit and continue to Parrammatta. Great trip and a 2 day explorer pass on the public transport gets the whole trip for next to nothing. Otherwise you need an Opal Card. Of course Taronga Zoo is world famous and also worth a visit. For the more adventurous the Sydney Bridge Climb is a must. Its not too hard but it is windy at the top. I can vouch for the not to hard bit as my 82 year old mum did it recently. It was on her bucket list. So a big tick there for her. As well as the Blue Mountains mentioned by others where an overnight stay is a must, there is the Hawksbury River. Out to Wisemans Ferry for a great lunch spot, or hire a boat and cruise the river. Then there is Bondi Beach and the Icebergs, the drive to our capital Canberra, as mentioned before. Though you can also visit the amazing hydro power stations built as part of the Snowy River Mountains Power Scheme in the 1950s. Amazing stuff. I can recommend stopping at Adaminaby for some trout fishing on Lake Eucumbene if you love a bit of sport. The lake is 270km long, holds 5 times the volume of water of Sydney Harbour and is man made as part of the Snowy Mountains Power Scheme. Depending on how much time you have and your wish to travel, Byron Bay is on many people's list. Though its just under 800km north of Sydney, so a full on trip. Fly to Brisbane and drive south makes it a lot closer, only 130km. If all this sounds like too much, then relax at Circular Quay, dine out (Customs House is a very nice choice right there at the Quay) and enjoy the wonderful city. I hope you have a great trip.
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Old 02-07-2018, 04:15 AM   #17
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And get ready for the heat, Sydney can be very hot at that time of year 40 Deg Celsius. Welcome and enjoy your stay.
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